Therapeutic Divorce Mediation – An Alternative to A Messy Divorce

Divorce is a life-changing event and, according to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, the second most stressful event in the life of an adult.  The phrase “I’ll see you in court” can conjure up visions of endless arguments, custody battles, and trips to court turning even the most mild-mannered individual into an anxiety-ridden sociopath!

Think about it for a minute.  When you go to your lawyer’s office you’re immediately put into an adversarial position – generally sitting face-to-face across the table from your soon-to-be-ex spouse and his/her attorney.  And in our legal system, where justice presides blindly over the courtroom, the justice being served is usually equated to punishment.  Is that really what you want to do to each other?  Or would you prefer to restore a sense of personal well-being and allow each other to move forward and be happy post-divorce?

Litigators and psychotherapists/mediators have the same goal in mind – settling the dispute – but their approaches, methods and techniques are quite different.  While lawyers tend to approach dispute settlement from a pragmatic, business perspective focusing only on their client’s best interests, therapists and mediators always approach the couples’ issues from a personal and collaborative perspective allowing both parties to express and reiterate their positions and explore their underlying concerns.

Benefits of Therapeutic Divorce Mediation

Ending a marriage and untangling the lives of spouses and children is an emotional roller coaster.  While anger may be at the forefront, many people also have feelings of fear, sorrow, distrust, and guilt.  The ability to deal with this wide range of emotional conflict is Therapeutic Mediation Embodies Collaborative Discussionvirtually impossible through litigation.  Therapeutic divorce mediation, a couples counseling technique, provides the opportunity to not only settle the dispute in a safe environment but to do so in a collaborative and amicable manner that facilitates the healing process for both parties.  Further, through the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy, new skills can be learned that allow both sides to transition to the post-divorce environment and minimize the risk of repeating negative behaviors with each other and in new relationships.  In essence, therapeutic divorce mediation helps to turn emotional distress into emotional relief.

Using therapeutic divorce mediation rather than litigation also allows you, rather than the lawyers and judges, to be in control of the outcome and preserve what was good about your life together thus enabling a more amicable parting of the ways.  Doing so will make it less likely that you will find the need to return to court for non-compliance of a court-mandated settlement.  The timetable is also up to you.  You can schedule mediation at your own pace as opposed to strict adherence to the lengthy rules of procedure required by the courts.

The benefits of therapeutic divorce mediation also extend to your wallet.  Litigation can be quite costly with the average cost totaling in excess of $25,000.  Therapists are more likely to consider and be responsive to the economic and financial concerns that a couple is facing and can price sessions accordingly.  Generally, the average total cost of mediation would be unlikely to exceed $5,000.

Our lives have become extraordinarily hectic and stressful – even on good days.  The decision to divorce is heart-wrenching  for everyone involved and may quite well bring up deeply-rooted emotions, but before you pick up the phone to litigate, consider the alternative solution and mediate.

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